Here are few facts you might not be aware about Swami Vivekananda.
The world knows him for his eloquent speeches. But did you know that as a student, Swami Vivekananda was just average? He scored only 47 percent at the University entrance level examination, 46 percent in the FA (later this exam became Intermediate Arts or IA) and 56 percent in his BA exam.
Vivekananda Was An Acquired Name :
Swami Vivekananda was the name he took up after he became a monk. Originally, he was named as Vireshwara by his mother and was often referred to as ‘Biley’. Later, he was named Narendra Nath Dutta.
Vivekananda Never Got A Job :
In spite of his BA degree, Narendranath (Vivekananda’s real name) had to go from door to door in search of employment. He would loudly proclaim, “I am unemployed” to those who asked him. His faith in god shook and he began to tell people rather aggressively that God does not exist. One neighbor complained, “There is a young fellow living in that house. I have never seen such a conceited fellow! He is too big for his boots – and all because he has a BA degree! When he sings, he even strikes the table arrogantly and struts around smoking cheroot before all the elders…”
Swamiji’s Family Lived In Extreme Poverty :
After the death of his father (Viswanath Datta), Swamiji’s family lived in extreme poverty. His mother and sisters had to struggle hard to get a meal a day. Often, Swamiji went without food for days together so that others in the family had enough.
A Guarded Secret :
The Maharaja of Khetri, Ajit Singh, used to send 100 rupees to Swamiji’s mother on a regular basis to help her cope with the financial problems. This arrangement was a closely guarded secret.
Vivekananda’s Love For Tea :
Vivekananda was a connoisseur(an expert judge in matters of tast) of tea. In those days, when the Hindu pandits were opposed to drinking tea, he introduced tea into his monastery.
Swami & The Lokmanya :
Swamiji once persuaded Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak to make tea at Belur Math. The great freedom fighter brought nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cloves and saffron with him and prepared Mughlai tea for all.
He Never Completely Trusted Ramakrishna Paramhansa:
Ramakrishna Paramahansa was the guru of Swami Vivekananda. During the initial days of learning with his teacher, Vivekananda never completely trusted him. He kept on testing Ramakrishna for everything that he said until he finally got all his answers.
Swamiji Predicted His Own Death :
It was to French operatic soprano Rosa Emma Calvet that Vivekananda had declared in Egypt that he would die on July 4. He passed away on July 4th, 1902.
Swamiji Had 31 Ailments Before He Passed Away :
According to the book ‘The Monk as Man’ by renowned Bengali writer Shankar, Swami Vivekananda suffered from 31 ailments. The books lists insomnia, liver and kidney disease, malaria, migraine, diabetes and heart ailments as some of the 31 health problems that Swamiji faced in the course of his life. He even suffered from asthma which got unbearable many times.
No women, not even his mother, were allowed inside the monastery. Once when he was delirious with fever his disciples fetched his mother. Seeing her Vivekananda shouted, “Why did you allow a woman to come in? I was the one who made the rule and it is for me that the rule is being broken!”